This article disputes that fictitious world where the big name publishers care for your work as much as you do. It also disputes the idea that sales reports and royalties are frequently and promptly delivered to eager authors. It brings home the cold reality that the author is often left alone and in the dark, forever lost in the shadows of the world's largest eBook store, Amazon.com Could this article and it's assessment of a single case of poor book marketing be considered unfair? Perhaps, but let this information serve as a signpost to authors navigating the online marketplace, of what to expect either of themselves or of their publishing partner when marketing books or eBooks online. This article is born out of frustration experienced from countless authors who feel that that they are not been treated fairly... and are right. Please understand that this piece is not meant as an attack on the author's choice of publisher. Unfortunately, I am confident that I could find numerous other examples where these commonly made marketing mistakes highlighted in this article could be the costing the author well-deserved royalties. --- As an author you have invested countless hours (and hundreds of cups of coffee) whilst bashing away at your keyboard, whilst shaping your work of art. You have endured the well meaning comments and doubt expressed by your friends or family, worse than that the self-doubt that arises from within whilst you flesh out ideas into chapters. Finally however your passion and the important message that you have wished to share with the world finally begins taking shape as the first draft of your manuscript is finally completed. You have taken all the necessary steps that authors should consider when deciding to share their written work with their eager readers. Your book cover is a brief but dazzling display of artwork, that captures your readers' attention. Your manuscript has been proofread by a professional who has sifted out the grammatical errors as a gardener would remove weeds from his prized vegetable garden. You now relax, savoring the feeling that comes now that your work is completed and it's time to hand your prized manuscript over to the professionals. In this case, you were lucky enough to gain the interest of a publishing house that, for a tidy sum has offered to handle all the marketing work for you. You now step back, feeling secure in the belief that this publisher will navigate the complex world of book marketing, whilst you simply collect the royalty cheques, adding the title of 'published author' to your CV. Is this situation familiar to you, or does it perhaps relate to someone you know? Using this real example of bad eBook marketing through Amazon by a professional publishing house, let's see what should have been done in the process. eBook Marketing Mistake #1 - The over-priced eBook.
This Kindle eBook is listed (from a South African perspective) as $11.99 on Amazon.com meaning that after removing the $2 Amazon Whispernet Surcharge added by Amazon and the 14% VAT added by the South African government the publishing house intended to sell this work for approximately $8.5
A list price of $8.5 for an eBook written by an author that, from Amazon's perspective, was not well known is a bad move, more likely to dissuade potential customers rather than encourage the purchase of this eBook. This also fits neatly into the already well-voiced complaint that big-name publishers simply charge too much for eBooks. The publisher should have rather examined the prices of the competition within the selected eBook categories they chose to list for an idea of how the eBook should be priced, I believe it would have been considerably less than $8.5 eBook Marketing Mistake #2 - Lack of valuable Links within the eBook.
Glancing through the eBook sample that Amazon was kind enough to generate for me I noticed that this author was credited with having written six other books. What is the worth of mentioning these other acclaimed works if they do not have the links pointing customers to the sales info?